At Liberty Podcast
At Liberty Podcast

What it's like in ICE Detention During a Pandemic

April 15, 2020

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The Coronavirus has spread quickly through communities around the world, prompting physical distancing measures to keep people safe and “flatten the curve.” But people in custody are especially at risk because they are often held in close quarters and lack decent medical care.

Currently, nearly 36,000 people are being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, and they are all in grave danger. Almost immediately after the virus broke out, the ACLU and other advocates began arguing for the release of especially high-risk detainees, including people who are elderly or have serious medical conditions. To date, the ACLU and our affiliates have filed more than a dozen lawsuits across the country and more than 50 detainees have been released due to our efforts. ICE has now committed to releasing an additional 600 medically vulnerable detainees.

In this episode, we hear from two people who were recently released from detention after our litigation, Alfredo Esparza and Mario Rodas Sr, and some of their family. Then we speak with Eunice Cho, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project, who has been leading this litigation effort.

This Episode Covers the Following Issues